United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is located in the Arabian Gulf and shares land borders with Oman (410km) and Saudi Arabia (457km). The country has 1,318km of coastline and shares maritime borders with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran. The total area of the UAE is approximately 77,000 square kms and Emirate of Abu Dhabi accounts for 87%. The capital city of Abu Dhabi is located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. UAE is the second largest economy in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia. Nominal gross domestic product is estimated at US$ 339 billion in 2011.
United Arab Emirates was established on December 2, 1971 as a federation of six emirates, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah joined in 1972. Based on the 1971 constitution, UAE is a constitutional federation of seven monarchies with a single national president. UAE is governed by a Supreme Council made up of the rulers of the seven emirates. It is the highest policy making authority which appoints the prime minister and the cabinet. The President of the UAE and also the ruler of Abu Dhabi is Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
The UAE plays an important role in OPEC and is a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). UAE is also a member of the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the UN and the WTO. The International Renewable Energy Agency, officially founded in 2009, has interim headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
UAE rapidly transformed into a modern nation and became a regional hub for commerce since the discovery and export of oil in the 60's and the establishment of the federation in 1971.Classified by the IMF as a high-income developing economy, UAE has proven crude oil reserves of 97.8 billion barrels (8% of global reserves) and is ranked 8th in the world. Hydrocarbon sector is an important cornerstone of the economy which accounted for roughly 30% of real GDP, 40% exports, and 80% of government revenue in 2011.UAE has led the region in its efforts to diversify its economic base.